Changing Strategies, Not the Goal – Dairy Farmers Feeding Students in Schools, Increasing Dairy Sales

Author: Jean Kummer | April 13, 2021

Changing Strategies, Not the Goal – Dairy Farmers Feeding Students in Schools, Increasing Dairy Sales

Prior to COVID-19, school districts were providing meals as “offer versus serve,” where students had the option to choose milk. Post COVID-19, all breakfast and lunch meals “serve” milk to all students who take a meal.  School districts are reporting increased milk sales because of the shift – a win-win for dairy farmers and for students, as schools are feeding about 40% fewer students due to closures during the pandemic. 

ADA North East’s school programs goals pre- and post-COVID include: 

  • Increasing meal participation at meal sites which correlates to increased milk and dairy sales. 
  • Ensuring school meals that include milk and dairy remain part of the school day. 
  • Building and maintaining essential relationships with schools and food service professionals to maintain credibility and ability to protect dairy’s role in school meals.

One example of a school success following the new plan was in Prince William County, Va. 

  • September and October 2019: 2,178,598 milk unit totals
  • September and October 2020: 2,904,894 milk unit totals 

... Equaling an additional 726,296 half-pints of milk sold

About American Dairy Association North East

American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing more than 10,000 dairy farm families in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, ADA North East develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit or call our Main Office at 315-472-9143.